Women Choose Energy
Women getting into the energy sector today will not be disappointed. A survey from Florida’s Women in Energy Leadership Forum reveals that 100% agree they’d choose the same field if they were given the opportunity to select again. For comparison, just 65% of women in other fields share their sentiments. Perhaps what’s most interesting about this is that few intended to enter energy in the first place. Only 19% focused on energy-related studies yet many possessed skills for working in energy. “The other 81% applied their education in management, law, regulation, finance, technology, or other fields to a satisfying career in energy,” says the organization’s Michelle Ubben.
There’s obviously a great deal to love about a career in energy, a diverse field that encompasses coal, oil, gas, renewables, and more. There are clear career paths to grow with, challenging work, impressive remuneration packages, and a wealth of jobs to choose from. Plus, given the high number of women without energy backgrounds who successfully transition into the field, it’s an area in which a multitude of backgrounds can find success. Of course, it’s helpful to know which skills energy sector employers look for before trying to switch. Let’s take a look.
Skills for Working in Energy
1. Basic Skills
According to Rand, which crunched occupational employment statistics (OES) data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the most in-demand skills within the energy sector are classified as “basic skills.” The top five for the sector include active listening, critical thinking, speaking, reading comprehension, and monitoring. In other words, people from almost every background will possess the five most critical skills companies in the energy sector seek.
2. STEM Knowledge
Studies surrounding science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) are highly prized within the industry, particularly for those in tech-related roles. However, it’s important to remember that the field relies on countless professions, so although a STEM background is beneficial for a multitude of roles, not having one isn’t a deal-breaker.
While most careers expect job candidates to be able to perform a multitude of tasks, this ranks quite high for those in energy, particularly as it pertains to possessing technical skills.
4. Social Awareness
Not surprisingly, top-performing companies within the industry are always striving to meet the needs of people while being mindful of environmental impact. They intentionally seek out employees who not only have an interest and deep understanding of social responsibility but are conscious of these aspects throughout the course of their work.
5. Project Management
Performance and profitability are paramount, but difficult to attain in an industry with higher levels of risk and scarce resources. Those with strong backgrounds in project management, particularly with achievements in challenging situations, will often move to the front of the line when interviewing.
One of the reasons employers prize communication skills is the frequency with which collaboration is leveraged in the energy sector. Those who are adept communicators and who can relate information to both technical and non-technical teams have a leg up when it comes to working collaboratively. Of course, being able to work well in a team involves more than this; a unique mindset which values what each person brings to the table, conflict resolution skills, and enthusiasm are all beneficial.
There’s a Fit for Every Skillset in Energy
While these are six of the most in-demand skills in the energy sector today, they’re not the end-all. The energy industry needs administrative employees, marketers, business operations specialists, legal experts, sales professionals, truck drivers, and more. With countless opportunities available, the challenge isn’t how to break into an energy career, but choosing the one that’s the best fit for your skills.